Top Ten Deadliest Rockers

As you may have heard, Willie Nelson earned his 5th black belt this week at the age of 81 which means he can probably out smoke  and out fight you. But are there other rockers who can kick ass and take names? Yes! With that in mind, here’s my list of the Top Ten Deadliest Rockers!

10) Steven Seagal

While he has a bit of an ego and he’s an actor first, musician second, Seagal does hold a legit 7th dan black belt in Akido. And his band has the best / worst name ever, Thunderbox.

9) The Osmonds


Originally brought in to help butch up the family band’s dance moves, Chuck Norris (he of no chin, only another fist) also became The Osmonds’ instructor in Tang Soo Do. Imagine the Osmonds cleaning up the streets… why has that never been made into a movie?

8) Rikki Rockett

The drummer from Poison holds a black belt in Brazilian Ju-Jitsu.

7) Elvis


The original rocker martial artist, Elvis began taking martial arts when he was in the army. An honorary black belt, the king even worked in some karate style moves into his stage show.

6) Joan Baez

Joan Baez Performs At Royal Festival Hall In London

Yes, this folk songstress could probably do a bit of damage as she holds a black belt in Akido.

5) Glenn Danzig

Remember when Danzig seemed to be built out of muscle and doom? The muscles came from his training in Jeet Kune Do under Jerry Poteet (one of JKD’s creator Bruce Lee’s original students).

4) David Lee Roth

Roth is quiet about very few things but when it comes to his martial arts training, he’s relatively silent. He has mentioned in a few interviews over the years that he’s trained in Kung Fu (and some sword training) as well as some Brazilian Ju-Jitsu from former UFC champ, Matt Serra.

3) Maynard James Keenan


The Tool frontman was very active in Brazilian Ju-Jitsu until an injury forced him to slow down a bit. That being said, he still does train and has trained under former Pride fighter, Rickson Gracie among others.

2) Dave Mustaine


The Megadeth frontman is a black belt in Karate and Tae Kwon Do and in 2007, he was a good will ambassador for the World Tae Kwon Do Federation.

1) Willie Nelson

Willie Nelson earned a 5th degree black belt in Gong Kwong Yu Sul (a hybrid martial art that combines elements of Hapkido, judo and other styles) at 81. He also holds a black belt in Tae Kwon Do. Don’t mess with Texas indeed.
















Brent Chittenden

Brent Chittenden is a freelance writer with a gift for the geek. Currently a writer with A Journal Of Musical Things and a podcaster with True North Nerds, he's also written for Comic Book Daily, Explore Music and a dozen other places. Currently, he is the co-host of the True North Nerds podcast. You can find out more at

2 thoughts on “Top Ten Deadliest Rockers

  • May 2, 2014 at 9:42 am

    I can add Stone Roses Ian Brown, he did Karate or Kung-Fu and did boxng also

    • May 2, 2014 at 11:52 am

      And threatened to saw an airline stewardess’s arms off with a plastic knife!


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